Tips for Selecting Children's Glasses

Advice on how to choose the right glasses for infants and young children from the American Academy of Ophthalmology:

Get the best lenses for kids. For most children, the ideal lens is made of polycarbonate. It’s strong, lightweight and shatterproof – safety factors that are important for active toddlers and young athletes. Polycarbonate does scratch easily, so a scratch-resistant coating is recommended.

Find the right frames and a good fit. The lens prescription will frequently influence what sort of frame you should choose for your child’s glasses, as certain kinds of frames work poorly with certain kinds of lenses. Your child’s doctor will explain the options. And be sure to investigate the various devices available to ensure a proper fit:

  • Silicone nose pads with non-skid surfaces will prevent frames from slipping.
  • Comfort cables secure children’s glasses by wrapping around their ears. Comfort-cable temples are available for frame sizes worn by children up to 4 years old.
  • Flexible hinges bend outward, which is useful for a child who pulls the ear pieces away from his head when removing his glasses.
  • Straps may be needed to replace ear pieces in babies. An infant wearing straps is able to roll or lie on his or her side without discomfort or dislodging the glasses.

Shop for your child the way you would for yourself. Try to match the frame style to the child’s facial shape and features. After all, the more a child likes his glasses, the more care he may take with them. If your child is old enough, let him choose the frames. Say nice things about your child’s new glasses, and talk to siblings beforehand to nix the teasing.

Some infants will simply refuse to wear the glasses and will pull them off. Be persistent. Put the glasses on the baby and then try a little distraction. If she pulls them off again, set them aside and wait a while before trying again. If your child continues to remove the glasses, see your doctor for further help.

More about your child's vision:

  • Common Eye Problems in Kids
  • Can Kids Wear Contacts, Get LASIK Surgery?
  • Sun Safety for Young Eyes
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